There are many reasons to lose weight. Perhaps you want to fit into that gorgeous dress for an upcoming party, or maybe you just want to feel healthier and more energetic. Whatever your objective is for losing weight, there are certain practices that can help you optimise the process.
One of the most effective strategies for weight loss is diet management. A healthy, calorie deficit diet is often combined with exercise so that the body burns more calories than it consumes. This will cause an increased utilisation of fat stores in the body, eventually leading to weight loss.
This is why choosing the best foods for weight loss is important. A calorie deficit diet needs to have sufficient nutrients too, so that your body doesn’t suffer any negative side effects from the diet.
5 Best Foods for Weight Loss
Some of the best foods for weight loss are high in proteins and natural fibres. The presence of both these nutrients contributes to reducing hunger pangs and cravings. Additionally, they should be natural, whole foods that aren’t processed. Processed foods have long been linked to weight gain, as they’re high in calories, saturated fats and cholesterol. Below are some of the best foods we recommend for weight loss.
Whole grains like oats, quinoa, millet and barley are suitable for weight loss as they’re able to keep you feeling full. Oatmeal in particular, has been found to enhance satiety for longer periods compared to other oat based breakfast cereals. This elevated satiety, especially if consumed at breakfast, can help one eat less during subsequent meals.
Another popular method of consuming oatmeal is overnight oats. Oats are soaked overnight in a dairy beverage, such as milk, yoghurt or soy milk with the option to add healthy ingredients like fresh fruits . Overnight oats are able to stabilise your blood sugar levels. The combination of oat carbohydrate with protein, fibres and fats can slow the absorption of sugar into your bloodstream, preventing sugar spikes and helping you feel full for longer.
You can add proteins and fibres in the form of nuts and seeds, as well as small amounts of fats like nut butter. Better still, you can make your overnight oats with rolled oats, which have a more complex carbohydrate matrix and are less bioaccessible, than instant oats.
Oatmeal also has less sugars and carbohydrates than other breakfast cereals, making it a smart choice for the calorie-conscious dieter.
A short-term study involving 30 women found that a breakfast containing eggs helped subjects feel full for longer and consume less calories throughout the day. A separate group received a carbohydrate-dominated breakfast in the form of a bagel and this group felt hungrier and consumed significantly more calories in the following 24 hours.
Incorporating eggs into breakfast is easy; they’re versatile, quick to cook and can be prepared in various ways to suit different taste buds. The next time you prepare breakfast, fry an omelette rather than lathering your toast with jam.
Nuts are rich in proteins and fibres, which means that they help keep you satiated. A study conducted on the impact of tree and ground nuts suggests that they can keep you full despite having a low caloric density.
Additionally, there is evidence to suggest that they drive up resting energy expenditure (the energy needed to maintain normal bodily functions rather than vigorous activity) and can be included in your diet in moderation without causing weight gain. Nuts are therefore suitable as snacks in between meals, as they can help you with portion control too. Some examples of nuts to consume include peanuts, almonds, pistachios, cashews, pecans and more. Cashews have the lowest calories: putting this in context, a serving of 28 grams contains roughly 155 calories.
4. Lean Meats
A healthy diet should include sources of low fat protein, and in this regard, lean meats are some of the best sources. Lean meats like chicken breast contain relatively low amounts of calories. Therefore, they can function as an important part of your diet as they provide certain amino acids and minerals not found in plants. Every 100 grams of chicken breasts contain only 165 calories.
Other lean meat sources include flank or tenderloin steaks, and turkey. However, it is important to be conscious of how you cook these meats: opt for healthier cooking methods such as baking or steaming that don’t require fats or oils.
5. Leafy Greens
Leafy green vegetables are a rich source of vitamins and minerals for your diet. Not only are they high in fibre, but also low in calories which make them suitable as part of a calorie deficit diet. Leafy greens like Bok Choy, Choy Sum, Gai Lan (Chinese broccoli), Spinach, Kang Kong, just to name a few, are some of the affordable leafy greens you can find at your local grocery store.
The best way to preserve the nutritional value of leafy greens is not to overcook them. Try adding them raw to salads, or briefly stir fry them with garlic and seasonings.
The Bottom Line
When it comes to weight loss, choosing the right foods is just as important as how you cook and eat them. Portion sizes also matter because too much or too little of these foods can throw off your diet or cause you to suffer from insufficient nutrients.Incorporating these weight loss friendly foods into your diet can help you better manage your appetite and weight. With ReCulture, you can learn to cultivate proper dietary habits that not only improve your wellbeing, but also empower you to become a better version of yourself. From the ReCulture 5 to the ReCulture 60, ReCulture’s programmes are designed to help you achieve your health goals. Contact us today to find out more about how our programmes can help you cultivate better eating habits.